The other goodies are what’s in this amazing “kit” from Work Sharp (Photo 4). This particular one has been “enhanced” by Ken Onion, one of the top knife designers around. Ken called me and said, “I know you don’t like gadget knife sharpeners, and I don’t either, but these guys nailed it.” And they did. I took this picture before I unlimbered everything and tried it out for almost six months. I didn’t want to like it, but it simply works as advertised. Basically, you get a mini-belt sander (knife makers use big belt sanders and various grits of belts to make knives) with belts of all grits (including so smooth you won’t think they work, but they do!). The tool can be configured in various ways to sharpen virtually anything you need to sharpen, and edge angles are easily “held” due to cleverly built-in angle guides.

I’ve used it to sharpen kitchen knives, axes, establish initial angles on plane blades, machetes, serrated edges, folders and you name it. It simply works as advertised. Plus, they’re an American company taking great care of their employees. There are many models available from Work Sharp, and some of their sharpening accessories (like the Field Sharpener in the blister pack shown) are awfully handy. Mine is in my chore-coat pocket all the time.